CONCERT JOURNAL (Spring/Summer 2021)

Jazz History Online’s new feature, Concert Journal, offers capsule reviews of performances from various locations up and down the Atlantic seaboard. This regularly updated column is part of JHO’s new focus on live performance. Thomas Cunniffe acts as reviewer and guide.

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NOTES FROM THE EDITOR (05-21)

Hello everyone– Welcome to the spring edition of Jazz History Online. Sorry for the delay in getting this issue to you, but as we all know, deliveries have been very slow lately, and I simply can’t review materials if I don’t have them! I’ve also taken on extra freelance work (including COVID-19 tracing and book […]

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JUST SING…

By a happy and well-timed coincidence, the JHO mailbox has been filled with new discs by outstanding vocalists, all of whom have been previously featured on the site. With our 10th anniversary coming up this July, here are Thomas Cunniffe’s reviews of new CDs by Roseanna Vitro, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Alyssa Allgood and Veronica Swift.

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JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (May 2021)

In what we hope will be the final installment of this series, Thomas Cunniffe reviews 5 new discs released during the pandemic. Included are Franco Ambrosetti’s “Lost Within You”, Jane Ira Bloom & Mark Helias’ “Some Kind of Tomorrow”, Noah Haidu’s “Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett”, Jon-Erik Kellso’s “Sweet Fruits, Salty Roots” and Chris Pattishall’s “Zodiac”.

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“SITTIN’ IN: JAZZ CLUBS OF THE 1940s & 1950s” (by Jeff Gold)

Live music and venues were one of the first casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some venues are reopening with reduced seating capacity, it may be several months before we can all enjoy an evening at a nightclub. Jeff Gold’s new book “Sittin’ In” offers an unusual look at the legendary clubs of the past, with rare souvenir photos, menus and handbills. In his review, Thomas Cunniffe notes that the timing for this book could not be better.

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The 1968 Bill Evans Trio with Eddie Gomez & Jack DeJohnette

For about 6 months in the middle of 1968, pianist Bill Evans led a remarkable trio featuring bassist Eddie Gomez and drummer Jack DeJohnette. Up until now, the only recordings that existed of this group were the Grammy-winning LP Bill Evans at the Montreux Jazz Festival and a handful of bootleg recordings. In this Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe discusses the group’s recordings (including a newly released–and previously unknown studio session) as well as a rare TV broadcast.

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Paul Desmond and the Canadians

In the last decade of his life, Paul Desmond only performed occasionally. But when he hired three exceptional Canadian musicians, (Ed Bickert, Don Thompson and Jerry Fuller) to back him for a club date, the music inspired Desmond to some of his finest performances. After years of legal entanglements, Mosaic Records has issued a 7-CD box which includes over 5 hours of unissued recordings by this outstanding ensemble. In this newly revised Historical Essay, Thomas Cunniffe explores the musical legacy of Desmond’s Canadian Quartet.

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VERONICA SWIFT: “HER INFINITE VARIETY”

In “Antony and Cleopatra”, Shakespeare wrote, “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale, her infinite variety”. The words were originally a tribute to the Egyptian queen, but they have special significance in the career of jazz vocalist Veronica Swift. Thomas Cunniffe explores the music and life of this multi-talented young lady in this JHO Profile.

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THE MANY SOUNDS OF “SUMMERTIME”

In honor of the upcoming Summer equinox, Jazz History Online’s principal writer has retrieved and revised one of his vintage articles, discussing 17 different of George Gershwin’s “Summertime”. Embedded YouTube clips are included, so grab an iced tea and take this article out on the porch.

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